Franchises We Can't Help But Love - Prima Games

Franchises We Can’t Help But Love

by Prima Games Staff

Video game franchises: they’re out there and year after year, you see sequels and add-ons released that continue to stretch them out.  Sometimes you get one that would’ve been better off calling it quits years ago (like Duke Nukem Forever), and other times, you have a franchise that goes away too soon, and becomes in dire need of a comeback (such as Metroid – we’ve forgiven it, even after the release of Other M).

Then there are those that, no matter what changes they go through, remain attractive, relied-on brand names that deliver a good time, no matter what kind of mood they’re in.  Here now is a list of some of our favorite franchises.  You can certainly see if yours stack up by good measure, or even suggest something you feel we might’ve left on the list.  But you have to agree that all of these choices are prime candidates, even when they’re going through their ninth or tenth iteration.

Metal Gear

Over the years, Solid Snake has emerged from simplistic 8-bit action hero to full-fledged kick-ass soldier.  The original NES game helped establish the legacy of the adventures to come, and Metal Gear Solid was nothing short of a classic, between its monstrous boss encounters and superb stealth-based gameplay.  The sequels did good things as well, including Snake Eater and Peace Walker, both of which found quality HD re-releases for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  

Now, the legacy will live on in a whole new way, with Platinum Games’ actioner Metal Gear Rising Revengeance set to leave a dent on store shelves starting next week.  We can’t wait to see what damage Raiden can do on his own…


True, there are only two Bioshock games out there, and the second game didn’t exactly set the world on fire with its tacked-on multiplayer and, ahem, watered-down story (we didn’t mean that as a joke to Rapture, by the way).  Regardless, Ken Levine and his team have created a bold new world with this series, one filled with mystery, malice and technical creativity, as well as an ambience that pays fitting tribute to the days of old.  There’s really nothing quite like it.  

When we fly into the skies of Columbia next month with the long-awaited Bioshock Infinite, we’re bound to discover that love all over again – even if we don’t have to deal with Big Daddy this time around.

The Legend of Zelda

It seems no matter what turns Link has taken on his journey through the Legend of Zelda games, there was seldom a bad one.  Sure, that Philips CD-I animated adventure didn’t do him any favors, but that hardly counts compared to such legendary entries as A Link To the Past (SNES), Link’s Awakening (Game Boy), the Wind Waker (GameCube), Twilight Princess (GameCube/Wii) and Skyward Sword (Wii).  Nor should we turn our back to the original that started it all on the NES, where it was dangerous to go alone without taking a sword.  

Link’s legacy will continue on in grand fashion over the next few years, between the forthcoming Wind Waker HD for Wii U, a new Zelda adventure not too far off, and, of course, his return to the brawler Super Smash Bros., whenever it comes back around.

Sly Cooper

Sony has a lot of franchises under its belt, between Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank and Gran Turismo.  But, oddly enough, for my personal tastes, there’s something about the way Sly Cooper does things.  First introduced back on the PlayStation 2 by the Infamous developers at Sucker Punch, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus became an overnight success, leading to two following sequels and a cool HD repackaging on the PlayStation 3.  

It’s with the thief’s latest adventure, Sanzaru Games’ Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, that you really see characters come to life better than ever.  This isn’t just Cooper’s show, but also his crew’s, as well as his ancestors’, who steal the spotlight just as well as he does.  Hopefully, this master criminal will make his return very soon.

Grand Theft Auto

Let’s be honest, has there really been a bad Grand Theft Auto game?  Sure, the original PS One/PC adventures weren’t exactly up to speed like the modern ones, but these open-world action fests haven’t been anything short of awesome, have they?  Ever since we started running over people in Grand Theft Auto III, there’s been something magical about “doing your own thing”.  

Then Rockstar Games went and dove back into the 80’s with Vice City, hitting the urban streets in San Andreas, and then confidently jumping into this current generation of games with Grand Theft Auto IV.  But we may be seeing the best to come with the forthcoming Grand Theft Auto V, with three characters to choose from and miles of crime-riddled streets to cover.  This one can’t get here soon enough – we need to run over some gangsters.

Gears of War

This series is only a few years old, but already it’s grown on us in a number of ways, just as Halo has done.  The difference, though, is the genuine hardcore feeling behind multiplayer, whether you’re teaming up with friends in Horde mode or dealing out the damage in a huge versus match.  But the Gears of War difference doesn’t stop there, as the single player mode has plenty of great story twists behind it, as well as characters that manage to stand out.  

Cole Train, anyone?  This series hit its peak with Gears of War 3, but, surprisingly enough, there’s still room for growth, as next month’s prequel, Gears of War Judgment, should bring plenty of fun to many Xbox 360’s.  We can’t wait to try out the new multiplayer stuff.

God of War

For the final part of this list (for now – we’ll revisit it in the future with even more franchises), we have to turn to Kratos, who hasn’t let us down yet when it comes to delivering a bloody good show.  Ever since his introduction on the PlayStation 2, he’s been doing major damage to enemies both big and small.  He’s even killed Gods, he’s so good.  

Next month, we’ll get to know a little more about him when God of War: Ascension makes its way to stores, not only packing a compelling new story to tell, but also some multiplayer, a first for the series.  From what we’ve played, it’s pretty good – though Kratos would probably kill everyone in his sleep.  He’s that damn good.

What are your favorite franchises? 

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